View Full Version : Good Article On Betta Breeding.

09-05-2008, 07:40 AM
I found a really good article on betta breeding in Aquarium Fish International magazine. This may be good for all those wanting to breed bettas. I found some of the info very helpful.

Breeding Stats

Spawning Method: Bubblenest Spawner

Breeding Tank Size: 5-10 Gallons ( I would recommend 10)

Difficulty Level: * * (Moderately Challenging)

(The things in RED were added by me)

For those interested in breeding bettas (Betta Splendens), the first hurdle is finding breeding stock. Go to a small independent fish store that will order the fish (Or Aquabid/Ebay) if they don't already stock them, join a local aquarium club, attend a local or regional fish auction, or join a national or international club, such as the International Betta Congress (IBC). Expect to pay more than at your local big box store, but it will be worth it for your first breeding attempt. In addition, these stores usually do not carry females. (In my area they do, and they may also in your area)

Give the pair time to settle in, and condition them. Put the male in a 5 or 10 gallon aquarium; keep the female in a seperate tank. Feed them well with plenty of meaty foods. Bettas are predators that eat insects, small crustaceans, worms and tiny fish, so be sure to replicate this diet. When conditioning them for spawning, you need to feed them high protein foods. Brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, bloodworms (my favorite) live white worms, tiny earthworms, and other live and frozen foods work well.

A 5 or 10 gallon tank (and again I recommend a 10 gallon so the female has enough space to run) with bare bottom will suffice for breeding. The betta is essentailly a domesticated animal now, so water parameters are of much less imporatance than with wild fish. As long as the pH is around neutral and total hardiness is below about 200 ppm (GH below 12), they will be fine. (Don't forget the water temprature) If your water is a bit harder, add some peat or almond leaf extract (not almond extract for cooking) to the water. There is even a special solution for betta water available that is effective. (Betta spa; you can make out of boiling indian almond leaves and adding it to their water)

A filter is not necessary -- surface movement will hamper construction of the nest. A heater is necessary, unless the temprature of the room is consistently warm. The optimal temprature for spawning bettas is right at 80 degrees Farenheit. Add several floating plants, (e.g., water sprite (ceratopteris sp.), to the tank, and add a small flowerpot turned on it's side, along with a clump of plants such as Java moss. Some breeders add a coffee can lid or piece of styrofoam to float on the water instead. The idea is to give the male some structure at the surface around which to build his nest.

Condition the male in this tank, keeping the female in a separate tank. (You can also float her in another container inside his tank so he can see her but not get to her such as a 2 liter bottle with the top cut off. You will have to drain some of the males water so the bottle doesn't tip over) When the male is ready to spawn, he will construct a nest of sticky bubbles at the surface. When the female is fat and round, and you can see a little white nub (the egg tube OR ovipositor) in the area just in front of her anal fin, she is ready to spawn. (Or if you also see vertical stripes along her body) If you don't see the nub or "breeding stripes" , don't add her to the tank. She is not ready to spawn, and the male may kill her in his attempts to drive her off.

Watch them interact. If the male keeps trying to lead the female to the nest, and she seems to be trying to follow, gently release her into the tank.

Usually, they will begin courtig and spawing immediately (In my case this has never happened immediately and it may not in your either) . The pair embraces under the nest, with the female rolling on her side or back, and the male curling around her.

After several false starts, she will release several eggs, and the male will fertilize them. He gathers up the eggs and spits them into the nest with several bubbles. This is repeated numerous times until several dozen to to several hundred eggs are laid (Or in this case, put into the bubblenest). When complete, the male will drive the female away and begin tending to the nest. It's best to gently remove the female at this time (he will most likely kill her if you do not take her out).

The male now tends the nest, adding bubbles and removing unfertilized eggs. Do not feed him during this time. The eggs will hatch in a day or so, and the larvae hang in the nest for a couple more days. At this point, they begin their first attempts at swimming. The male with gather them up and spit them back into the nest for another day or so -- then he suddenly stops tending the nest and will eat the fry. It's best to remove him 2 days after spawning; the fry will be fine on their own. After you remove him, start feeding him again normally.

When the fry are all swimming, you can feed the fry for the first time. Many breeders start with newly hatched brine shrimp, but some betta fry are too small to take the shrimp and quickly starve. (I would use vinegar eels, 2-3 times a day). Otherwise, there are fry that grow much for quickly than others, and they are soon large enough to eat their siblings. (I would seperate the bigger fry from the bunch so that you don't have to worry about them eating the smaller ones).

The fry grow quickly, and at about 5 weeks, you'll see males sparring with one another. At this time, move the males each to their own container. Quart jars work well (you may need more than 100 of these in a good spawn, so be prepared). (I wouldn't use quart jars personally. I would rather use something like 1 gallon tanks or 2.5 gallon tanks). Change the water completely in each jar at least four to five times a week -- daily if you can. If you don't, the fins won't develop well, and you'll wind up having spent a lot of time raising fish no one will want.

When the males reach about 1 1/4 inches (not counting the fins), you can start offering them out for new homes. Your local fish store will be likely be happy to take several in trade if you have a good relationship with the owner.

Good Luck!! If anyone has any questions,
please ask!

09-08-2008, 04:52 AM
Remember, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask! And any beginner Betta breeders here should read this because it has a LOT of good info in it!!!

09-08-2008, 02:36 PM

I was wondering if the power filter on my fishtank is creating to much flow. My new betta is learning to avoid the worst areas but still he roams into the flow once in a while and is sent trashing to the front of the tank. You can see my set up and Rey Rey (My betta!) in this post (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showpost.php?p=353696&postcount=21).

I really like how my power filter keeps the water, so if you know of a way to reduce the flow created by it without having to remove it (if the flow is a problem, that is) I would greatly appreciate it!


09-08-2008, 05:28 PM
saurjusa, they have some filters on the market that you can purchase (if you are willing to spend some money) that work wonders for Bettas. I have heard that sponge filters do wonderful jobs even though they are smaller. I have 1 filter that I absolutely love. It's a topfin 20. It only costed $20 here which is really cheap. It has a knob on it that allows you to adjust the water flow. If you put it on the lowest flow, then it doesn't toss the bettas around or anything. There is also another filter. It's not adjustable but I have noticed it's water flow doesn't throw the fish around either. These are the whisper filters. I have one in with my betta and it doesn't throw them around like the other power filters do. If you don't want to spend any cash, then you can take a piece of a plastic coke bottle and put it under the output of the water and it makes it slow down. I will have to find you a link so that you will know exactly how to do it because I have totally forgot lol! Good luck!!

EDIT: Here's you some links. I don't know if petsmart would ship to Mexico, but you could ask. If they don't, then just go to google and type in top fin 10 w/ adjustable flow rate. They don't have in between sizes (like 15 gallons) so you'll have to go with a 10 or 20 )which really doesn't matter if it's adjustable.

09-12-2008, 09:40 PM
So, because of my job I had to go to Detroit this pat two days and I went ahead and bought the Top Fin 20, it seems to have the same capacity than my old filter but the tricle down cascade is almos twice as long, that should reduce the pressure of the fall, on top of that, like you said, it has the knob to adjust the flow... seems like a good purchase, I'll set it up tomorrow and we'll se hou it goes.

I also bought a fish-mate F14 automated feeder, I don't want my next vacations to catch me out of guard, any suggestions about that?


09-13-2008, 04:22 AM
Yea, the trickle it puts out isn't very strong. It's perfect for bettas! And vacation feeders aren't that great IMO. They tend to foul up the water lots of the time. You could try and see if they work any better for you.

09-14-2008, 04:38 AM
I already set the filter up and it works great, your suggestion was right on the spot. It is in the max flow rate and still the Betta can swim easily across the cascade.
The thing I like about the feeder I bought is that is not the drum like filter, is a rotating tray with 14 compartments, so I drop in each compartment exactly what I want to drop on that feed time, however, I'm still only using it for when I am on vacation.

Thanks for the tip on the filter!

09-14-2008, 07:32 PM
Ok, that sounds better than the feeders I have used and heard about. And yea, my bettas didn't have too much trouble swimming under the max flow either! A good little filter if you ask me. Were they really cheap where you found yours? I think we only gave $20 for it.

09-15-2008, 02:11 AM
$20 sounds about right, I got it at petssmart, the feeder took some searching, I got it on eBay from a user named seacoral, for $30 included shipping, I allready tryed it and it seems to be working well, I'll keep it on for 14 days and then store it until I really need it... ;-)

09-15-2008, 02:12 AM
Great post and excellent information!

09-15-2008, 07:02 AM
Thank you Holyvision! And Saurjusa, what brand is the feeder you bought? I might look into one of those if I ever need to go somewhere, because I am never letting anyone else watch my fish again.. especially my boyfriends parents.

09-15-2008, 07:18 PM
I got it on eBay: this is the one (http://cgi.ebay.com/Animate-Fish-Mate-F14-Automatic-Aquarium-Fish-Feeder_W0QQitemZ270187035368QQihZ017QQcategoryZ207 59QQrdZ1QQssPageNameZWD1VQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp 1638Q2em118Q2el1247), and thats the user I got it from too.

It seems as if your last fish-sitting experience went, err, not good?

I haven't got the need yet, but my goal when I need it is to have someone that needs only check everything is working properly, I've heard that fish-sitters tend to over feed and stuff...

09-16-2008, 03:08 AM
Yea, the last time we let someone watch our fish it was a disaster...